Hellsgate Wilderness Area

Hellsgate WildernessThis Wilderness was established in 1984, and contains approximately 37,440 rough acres with a major canyon and perennial stream extending its entire length. Deep pools of water may be separated by impassable falls. Elevations range from 3,000 feet along the lower end of Tonto Creek to 6,400 feet on Horse Mountain. Spring and fall are ideal times to visit this area, however trails are rare and access is limited. The tiny area known as Hellsgate is not to be used by livestock due to inaccessibility and impacts.

A group size of no more than 15 people and no more than 15 head of pack or saddle animals of any type is enforced within this area yearlong.

A Recreation Opportunity Guide (10 pages) is available from the Payson Ranger Station.

Visit our on-line MAP to get an overview of the Hellsgate Wilderness and its trails.


Our WILDERNESS FAQs page has answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding Wilderness Areas.

Activities such as prospecting and treasure troving are limited. For more information, go to Other Wilderness Activities.

All of our Wilderness Areas adhere to the LEAVE NO TRACE policy.